Pickleball

Last Wednesday I went along to Pickleball at Get Active @Jesmond to try my hand at this sport which I had never heard of before. Pickleball combines tennis, badminton, squash and table tennis using a wooden or graphite paddle and plastic ball. In Scotland, pickleball is played on a badminton court with a low tennis net. However, in America, where pickleball is played on a larger scale, they have pickleball specific courts.

What makes pickleball unique is the ‘Kitchen’ in the middle of the court (the area in front of the white lines on a badminton court) in which volleys are not allowed, not that I was very good at remembering this rule!

At the pickleball session I attended it was played in doubles as it makes it more fun, more sociable and less tiring! The session was really popular with four courts full of players as well as people waiting at the side to get on court and play a game. 

Pickleball is a sport which is not played or even heard of in many places in Scotland. In fact, Aberdeen is the only place North of Forfar which has sessions running. Despite the sport being part of the Active Lifestyles programme, (a Sport Aberdeen programme specifically designed to encourage everyone to stay active regardless of age, gender or ability) it is the fastest growing sport in the world and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

I was told by multiple players how much they would benefit from some younger players, especially when they attend tournaments where other teams are composed of a variety of ages. The team based at Get Active @ Jesmond have previously been to tournaments in both Ireland and Newcastle. With it being summer and with all of us having more time on our hands, go along and give pickleball a shot!

The name pickleball does seem a little strange but there are various rumours as to why this is the case! The first is that pickleball was founded in America in the 1960’s by a US Senator who invented the sport at a family BBQ to keep everyone entertained. His dog, ‘Pickle’, kept running to get the ball and the name stuck! The second rumour, and in my opinion a bit more believable, is that the word ‘pickle’ is a way to describe a mismatch of things, and as this sport combines four different racket sports into the one, this is definitely logical.    

If you fancy giving pickleball a shot or if you’re new to racket sports and not sure which one to try, then this combined sport is definitely a good option. The sessions run every Wednesday at Get Active @ Jesmond and every Tuesday at Kincorth Sports Centre.

Get active and try something completely new this summer with Sport Aberdeen’s pickleball classes!

Click here for more information.